CUSN’s 2017-18 AUS Men’s Basketball Awards

Most Valuable Player:

Javon Masters, G | UNB Varsity Reds
Stats: 19 GP, 24.5 PPG (1st), 51% FG (8th), 90% FT (1st), 6.1 RPG, 5.4 APG (2nd), 1.8 SPG (2nd)

Javon Masters’ historic regular season career comes to a close as the all-time leading scorer in Canadian university basketball history. Masters led the AUS and all of U SPORTS in scoring for the fourth time in his five seasons at UNB, while posting career highs in FG% (50.7%) and FT% (90.2%). More than just a scorer, the Kitchener, Ont. native continues to show his all-around skill, finishing second in the AUS in assists (5.5 APG) and steals per game (1.8 SPG).

Masters’ value this season is displayed through his stats in Varsity Reds wins vs. losses. In 15 wins, Masters averaged 25.7 points, 6.3 rebounds and 5.7 assists. In 4 losses, Masters’ averages fell to 20 points, 4.8 rebounds and 4.8 assists, despite playing nearly 2 minutes per game more.

It would be the third AUS MVP honour in the last four seasons for Masters, who is a serious candidate for this year’s Mike Moser Award for U SPORTS Outstanding Player. He would be the first AUS representative to win the award in 25 years (SMU Huskies legend Will Njoku in 1992-93).

Honourable Mention: Sven Stammberger, F, Dalhousie Tigers; Kemar Alleyne, G, Saint Mary’s Huskies

Defensive Player Of the Year:

Erik Nissen, F | Acadia Axemen
Stats: 20 GP, 18.3 PPG (7th), 48% FG, 71% FT, 10.4 RPG (1st), 3.0 BPG (1st), 0.8 SPG, 10 double-doubles (1st)

The man-in-the-middle for the Acadia Axemen put up a huge senior season in leading his squad to a 15-5 record, a five-game improvement from last season’s 10-10 mark. Nissen’s 59 blocks are more than three times the second place finisher (Azaro Roker with 18), and the most in the AUS in the past 15 years. That feat is quite possibly an AUS record, but the conference only has accurate blocked shots records dating back to 2002-03. The Quispamsis, New Brunswick native also led the conference in total and defensive rebounding, and was one of only four players in U SPORTS to average a double-double this season. Nissen would be the first Axeman to win DPOY since Owen Klassen won three years in a row from 2011-2014.

Honourable Mention: Kevin Bercy, F, St. Francis Xavier X-Men; Kemar Alleyne, G, Saint Mary’s Huskies.

Rookie of the Year:

Nikita Kasongo, G/F | Saint Mary’s Huskies
Stats: 20 GP, 18.9 PPG (5th), 42% FG, 74% FT, 6.0 RPG, 3.0 APG, 1.4 SPG

An explosive wing from Montreal, Nikita Kasongo’s impact season was the biggest reason the Huskies were able to finish the season 14-6, despite losing 4 starters and nearly 75% of the scoring from last year’s 13-7 team. Kasongo’s 378 points were good for fourth in the conference, and were the most by a first-year player since Javon Masters’ rookie year (2013-14). More than just a scorer, Kasongo stuffed the stat sheet across the board, finishing the season in the top ten amongst AUS leaders in field goals made, three pointers made, free throws made, total rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks. The future is bright for the former All-Star at Champlain College, who would be SMU’s first ROY since Brian Rouse in 2011-12, and has a good shot at being honoured with the Dr. Peter Mullins Trophy as U SPORTS Rookie of the Year, which would make him the first player in Saint Mary’s history to win that honour.

Honourable Mention: Ibrahima Doumbouya – F, UNB Varsity Reds; Xavier Ochu- G, Dalhousie Tigers

Coach of the Year:

Rick Plato, Dalhousie Tigers

It would be the third consecutive Coach of the Year honour for Dalhousie’s coach Rick Plato, but perhaps his most impressive coaching performance yet. After losing four-of-five starters from last year’s national bronze medallists including perennial AUS All-Stars Ritchie Kanza Mata and Kashrell Lawrence, many didn’t know what to expect from this season’s Tigers. Plato led a Dalhousie roster that featured eight first-year players to a third-consecutive first place regular season finish with a 16-4 record. In the past, the Tigers’ calling card was their defence, but this season’s Tigers team was ninth in the country in scoring averaging 84.8 points per game, and led the country in 3-point accuracy, shooting nearly 38% from beyond the arc. Of course the defence was prominent as well, holding opponents to a conference-best 71.9 points per game, as the Tigers outscored their AUS opposition by 12.9 points per game, a high mark in Plato’s five seasons behind the bench.

Honourable Mentions: Jonah Taussig, Saint Mary’s Huskies;
Brent Baker, UNB Varsity Reds

AUS First Team All-Stars:

Javon Masters, G | UNB Varsity Reds
19 GP, 24.5 PPG (1st), 51% FG (8th), 90% FT (1st), 6.1 RPG, 5.4 APG (2nd), 1.8 SPG (2nd)
See MVP selection above.

Erik Nissen, F | Acadia Axemen
20 GP, 18.3 PPG (7th), 48% FG, 71% FT, 10.4 RPG (1st), 3.0 BPG (1st), 0.8 SPG, 10 double-doubles (1st)
See DPOY selection above.

Sven Stammberger, F | Dalhousie Tigers
20 GP, 18.4 PPG (6th), 52% FG (5th), 40% 3PT (3rd), 86% FT (3rd), 8.2 RPG (4th), 2.9 APG (11th), 1.6 SPG (9th)

With the graduation of Dalhousie legends Kashrell Lawrence and Ritchie Kanza Mata, Sven Stammberger went from the Tigers’ third option to their go-to-guy, and he didn’t disappoint. The 6’5 forward set career highs in scoring, rebounding, assists, steals, and blocks, all while continuing his ridiculous shooting efficiency (top five in the conference in FG%, 3FG% and FT%). A match-up nightmare for opponents, Stammberger’s versatility was the key to the Tigers new-look offence, and he was also tasked with matching up against bigger forwards on the defensive end. He finishes his Dalhousie career with over 1000 regular season points, and looks to win his fourth-consecutive AUS Championship this weekend in Halifax.

Kemar Alleyne, G | Saint Mary’s Huskies
20 GP, 19.4 PPG (3rd), 42% 3PT (2nd), 83% FT (5th), 6.3 RPG (7th), 2.4 APG, 1.4 SPG

The lone returning starter for a Huskies team that lost 4-of-5 starters and nearly 75% of their scoring from last year, Kemar Alleyne has matured from a solid role player, to the go-to-guy for the Huskies. After starting the season 4-4, it looked like SMU was headed for a disappointing season, but Alleyne refused to let that happen. The 6’2 guard went off in 13 games after the December break, averaging 22.1 points, 7.1 rebounds and 2.8 assists, while shooting a ridiculous 47% from beyond the arc. It’s no surprise the Huskies finished off the regular season winning 10 of their last 12 games, largely thanks to the strong play of the Toronto native.

Kevin Bercy, F | StFX X-Men
19 GP, 16.7 PPG (10th), 54% FG (3rd), 79% FT (8th), 9.1 RPG (3rd), 8 double-doubles (2nd)

While his stats were down from last year’s AUS MVP and All-Canadian campaign, Kevin Bercy is still the engine that powers the StFX X-Men. Nagging ankle injuries limited the 6’7 forward for most of the season, but he still finished in the top ten in conference scoring, FG%, FT%, and rebounding. He also posted eight double-doubles, a feat trailing only Erik Nissen. The Kanata, Ontario native wraps up his AUS career as the sixth all-time leading rebounder in conference history, and hopes to acquire an AUS Championship to cap off his career as one of the best X-Men in recent years.

AUS Second Team All-Stars:

Nikita Kasongo, G/F | Saint Mary’s Huskies
Stats: 20 GP, 18.9 PPG (5th), 42% FG, 74% FT, 6.0 RPG, 3.0 APG, 1.4 SPG
See ROY selection above.

Ben Miller, G | Acadia Axemen – 20 GP, 13.2 PPG, 34% 3PT, 87% FT (2nd), 6.3 RPG (8th), 6.0 APG (1st), 2.5 SPG (1st), 0.7 BPG (5th)

A stat-stuffing point guard out of Winnipeg, ‘Big Shot’ Ben Miller is the consummate floor general for the Axemen. While his shooting consistency was down a bit from last year’s All-Star campaign, the 2014-15 conference ROY posted career high numbers in assists, rebounds, and steals. Plus he helped lead the Axemen to a five-game improvement in the win column (15-5 this year, compared to 10-10 last year).

Alex Carson, G/F | Dalhousie Tigers
19 GP, 17.0 PPG (9th), 51% FG (6th), 47% 3PT (1st), 85% FT (4th), 3.2 RPG, 1.3 APG

After injuries limited him to just six games played in his rookie season, Alex Carson’s sophomore campaign showed the skill that made him one of the top recruits out of Nova Scotia in recent years. The 6’5 wing teamed up with Sven Stammberger to form the AUS version of the ‘Splash Brothers’. The ‘Sackville Sniper’ shot the lights out from beyond the arc, hitting a Dalhousie record 67 three-point field goals (second-best single season mark in AUS history) on a blistering 47% (fifth in the country). He also shot 51% from the field and 85% from the free-throw line, and his underrated work on the defensive end played a big role in helping lead the Tigers to another first place finish.

Martin Campbell, G/F| Cape Breton CAPERS
18 GP, 19.6 PPG (2nd), 31% 3FG, 79% FT (7th), 6.1 RPG (9th), 3.0 APG (9th), 1.2 SPG

Simply put, Martin Campbell is a professional scorer. The 6’4 import from Maryland was the stand-out performer in another rough season for the CAPERS. Campbell had games of 40, 37 and 35 points this year, on his way to finishing second in the conference with 19.6 points per game. He also finished top ten in rebounding and assists, and helped provide veteran leadership for a very young CAPERS team that is still going through a rebuilding process.

Daniel Gordon, G | Memorial Sea-Hawks
20 GP, 18.9 PPG (4th), 33% 3PT, 78% FT (9th), 4.2 RPG, 1.9 APG

If the AUS had a Sixth Man of the Year Award, Daniel Gordon would be a shoo-in for the third-straight season. The high-flying 6’2 guard out of Ajax, Ontario put up big numbers off the bench again this season, posting career-high averages in scoring and rebounding. While Memorial only won five games this season, Gordon averaged 23.2 points per game in those wins, compared to just 17.5 in their losses.

All-Rookie Team:

Nikita Kasongo, G/F | SMU Huskies – 20 GP, 18.9 PPG (5th), 42% FG, 74% FT, 6.0 RPG, 3.0 APG, 1.4 SPG
Ibrahima Doumbouya, F | UNB Varsity Reds – 17 GP, 9.9 PPG, 36% 3PT, 5.3 RPG, 1.0 SPG
Xavier Ochu, G | Dalhousie Tigers – 13 GP, 10.5 PPG, 51% FG (9th), 35% 3PT, 5.5 RPG, 1.6 SPG
Osman Omar, G | CBU CAPERS – 17 GP, 11.5 PPG, 34% 3PT, 75% FT, 2.5 RPG, 1.7 APG, 1.1 SPG
Keevan Veinot, G | Dalhousie Tigers – 18 GP, 8.2 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 3.1 APG (7th), 1.2 SPG